BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Twenty-four people from across the country are in Baltimore for four days of intense classroom and hands-on lab sessions, and it’s all in the name of chocolate.

When you think of boot camps, you probably think of push-ups and sit-ups. This boot camp, however, is all about chocolate.

It’s the 11th annual Retail Confectioners International Chocolate Boot Camp.

“There’s always that warm and fuzzy feeling you get with chocolate and candy,” Ashley Jackson, of Apple Tree Chocolate, said. “It’s also a lot of fun.”

Chocolatiers from 17 states are in Baltimore learning from chocolate experts with more than 150 years of combined experience.

“We’re trying to learn all the basics,” Randy Hofberger, Chief Chocolatier, said. “How you can make wonderful tasting, good looking chocolates.”

Through classroom and hands-on lab sessions, students work to perfect their craft.

“It’s like an art form in the fact that even the greats practice every day,” Tyler Buffett, of Buffett’s Candies, said. “They’re going to learn and perfect it.”

It’s all to create the best chocolate possible.

“They say everything’s better with butter,” Hofberger said. “Well, maybe everything is better with chocolate, I think,” Hofberger said.

While chocolatiers from around the country came to chocolate boot camp in Baltimore, Wockenfuss Candies was the only local company represented.

Sean Streicher

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